by Emily Gravett
Simon & Schuster, March 8th
Poor chameleon feels blue and goes looking for a friend. But though he can change his color to look like a snail or a sock or a rock, none of these are willing to be his friend. Who can he find who will appreciate him for being a chameleon? This simple book is wonderful for very young children. Simple words on each page indicate the pattern or color of the chameleon and the object he mimics. But being a copycat is not a good way to make friends and, as chameleon learns, the best way to find a friend is to be your colorful self. 1 year plus, this book would make a wonderful baby gift- hopefully we’ll see it in board book form in the future.
Say Hello to Zorro!
By Carter Goodrich
Simon & Schuster, March 22
Mister Bud is a dog, and he leads the good dog’s life. He has his own things and his own schedule, and life is good. But one day a little pug named Zorro shows up. The two are grumpy until they realize they share the same schedule. And guess what? You can be louder and more persistent when there are two.
Goodrich’s illustrations capture the exuberance of the characters. Though the watercolor paintings are soft and light, the colors have a wonderful warmth and richness. The expressions of the dogs are hysterical and children will delight in their battles and companionship, seeing a similarity to their own relationships with their siblings.
The Secret River
By Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, illustrated by Leo & Diane Dillon
Simon & Schuster
January 4th, 2011
A Leo & Diane Dillon cover will make me pick up a book and, if it’s a picturebook, take it home before I even open it. The Secret River is beautiful story with the feeling of a folk tale. When hard times come to the forest and Calpurnia’s father can’t catch fish to sell, Calpurnia sets out with her dog to catch fish and help her father. Following her nose, she finds the secret river, bursting with fish.With hard work, determination, and belief in the extraordinary, Calpurnia brings softer times to the forest and reaches the understanding that sometimes the answers are in your own mind.The Dillons’ illustrations bring depth to the story, expanding the text and showing the magic and imagination present in Calpurnia’s world.